The United Kingdom

Basic facts about the United Kingdom

Officially – the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, meaning that the United Kingdom consists of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Great Britain, which is a separate island, consists of England, Scotland and Wales. So, altogether there are four countries as semi-separate parts of Great Britain; all of them have their own flags, coat of arms, symbols etc. The total area of the United Kingdom is 240,000 km2 – a bit smaller than New Zealand and a little bit bigger than Romania.

There are nearly 70 million inhabitants in the UK – a bit less than in Thailand and a bit more than either in France or Italy (according to 2019 data). Approximately 84% of the UK’s population lives in England. The capital of the United Kingdom and England is London; the capital of Scotland is Edinburgh, the capital of Wales is Cardiff and the capital of Northern Ireland is Belfast

Other interesting facts

The national flower of England is the rose, the national flower of Scotland is the thistle, the flower of Wales is the daffodil and the flower of Northern Ireland is shamrock. The coat of arms of England features three lions, the unicorn is officially recognised as Scotland’s national animal and is represented in its coat of arms; the national animal of Wales is the Red Dragon but Northern Ireland does not have a recognised national animal. However, there are some officially not recognised animals of Northern Ireland – Irish Hare, red deer and Irish Elk (giant deer). There also are different Patron Saints for each of the four countries – St. George for England, St. Andrew for Scotland, St. David for Wales and St. Patrick for Northern Ireland.

You may wish to watch on YouTube my video about the Isle of May and the bird habitat on it (opens in a new window).
There are quite a few reasons why the UK is separated on this blog. Firstly, the British island was connected to mainland Europe and became separated about 8000 years ago; at that time some five thousand people lived on the island. Secondly, from 2020, the UK is not a part of the EU anymore. However, the main reason is that the UK is our home country. After living some time in Scotland, we now live in England and travel a lot around different parts of the UK.
You can read more about the United Kingdom following the links below.